Protest planned against library sell off

A concerned councillor is rallying residents to join a protest in opposition to a potential plan to sell off a library and learning difficulties drop in centre.

Councillor Karen George is organising the protest after Kingston Council refused to confirm it would not flog Surbiton library and Sessions House, which is also home to a war memorial. Deputy leader Liz Green spoke in favour of the move at a council assets strategy meeting last month, but played down the rumours, saying there were “no immediate plans” to sell.

Councillor George has decided to act as she believes the plans have been in the pipeline for a very long time, accusations denied by the council. Councillor George, who represents the Berrylands ward, will be at Surbiton Library at 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon.

She has also started a petition opposing the library sell off, see


Are they looking to sell off the Library and hall so they can continue to pay for The Rose Theatre?
Despite what people think in this modern age of the internet this library is really busy and provides our only community space for people to go. Sign the petition or the people of Surbiton will only have themselves to blame for its demise!!

Published 16th May 2012, ie 3 days before scaremongering meeting by conservative councillor George


Our favourite buildings are NOT about to be sold off and redeveloped

Posted May 16, 2012 Comments(0)
I would like to assure you that there are no current plans to sell off Sessions House or Surbiton library. Sessions House is a listed building, both externally and internally, and the library is a building of townscape merit. Both make a valuable contribution to the look of Ewell Road. We currently use Sessions house as offices for the learning disabilities team but we could use its magnificent chamber much better if we could solve the problem of disabled access to the first floor (no money, even from the Heritage Lottery fund, unfortunately).

The Comet newspaper said on 7th May that :
Deputy leader Liz Green, who spoke in favour of the move at a Kingston Council assets strategy meeting last week, played down the rumours, saying there were “no immediate plans” to sell the Ewell Road site.
She did, however, fail to rule out the move, admitting the site, along with others in the borough, was “under review” and that there was a “possibility” it would be sold.
Coun Green said she would personally be in favour of moving the library to a more central location, possibly Victoria Road, though was keen to stress that it was not the opinion of the council.
She said the current library in Surbiton was not “fit for purpose”, that the 1930s building was very expensive to maintain and that it should be in a more central location.
However, she was keen to assure residents that there would always be a library in Surbiton.
She said: “I cannot confirm the library site will be sold but, on the other hand, I cannot say that it will not.
“At this very early stage we are considering a number of options, of which the library is one. There are no concrete plans to sell Surbiton library but at a time when we are trying to save money it would be foolish not to review all the sites the council owns to look into how the communities use the building.
“There will be a library in Surbiton going forward, whether it is at the current site or another one maybe closer to the town centre – I cannot say as it is still at a very early stage.”
Lib Dem Liz Green obviously knows more about what is going on than Frances Moseley - not surprised they didn't tell her as the Library is in Frances' Ward.

I am just wading through the 234 page new Planning Core Strategy and I notice on page 157 estimates for new housing. It lists the Station car park 200, Tolworth (the tesco site ) 600 and "Ewell Road, opportunities along the Ewell Road 100" Is that the library site I wonder or the PCT site? Either way don't you think there has been enough development on the Ewell Road already? It also looks as though Kingston has already earmarked a site for new housing whether the land is up for sale or not and it fits in with their strategy of selling assets listed in the new core strategy document

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